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Nov 29, 2019

The tone of voice varies when cells communicate

Posted by in category: futurism

How cells communicate is the focus of a new thesis from the University of Gothenburg.

“By studying mammalian , as well as fruit fly nerve cells, we’ve improved our understanding of how cells communicate,” says thesis author Anna Larsson.

In order to survive, the cells in our body need to be able to communicate with each other. One way for them to “talk to each other” is to send a from one cell to another by secreting molecules. The recipient cell interprets the message and can adapt depending on the meaning of the signal.

Nov 29, 2019

Mysterious tectonic fault zone found off California

Posted by in category: futurism

A new method using fiber-optic cables pinpointed the previously hidden system—and it may reveal more seismic surprises around the globe.

Nov 29, 2019

Flight to Mexico has to turn back over volcanic eruption – and horse…

Posted by in category: transportation

‘Landing at another airport was not possible, because of the visa requirements of passengers and as there was a large cargo of horses onboard,’ says KLM.

Nov 29, 2019

‘Dead satellites’ pose danger to humans, warns European Space Agency

Posted by in category: satellites

Thousands of ‘dead’ satellites are floating in space and pose a ‘very big danger’ to humanity, the head of the European Space Agency (Esa) has warned.

Speaking at the agency’s ministerial council in Seville, Jan Worner said that of almost 4,500 satellites in orbit, only 1,500 are active.

Space scientists are concerned that defunct satellites could hit other satellites or the International Space Station (ISS), which would then cause more debris, setting off a catastrophic chain reaction that could wipe out telecommunications systems — a phenomenon known as Kessler Syndrome.

Nov 29, 2019

The Curious Story of the Muon-Catalyzed Fusion Reaction

Posted by in category: futurism

Upon hearing the phrase “nuclear fusion,” many of us are quick to associate the phrase with an immense explosion leaving behind a mushroom cloud or a loud, deafening blast it produces which nothing standing a chance. When it comes to anything nuclear of the sort, we already have this expectation that it must have a destructive effect, but surprisingly it turns out, there is an area of nuclear research which explores reactions that takes exception to this. After the end of World War II, a few nuclear researchers from all around the world began exploring a new process which would be known as muon-catalyzed fusion (μCF). It would take years before this nuclear fusion reaction took notice but when it did, a new field of nuclear research was born and has been the subject of much research ever since.

Nov 29, 2019

New study shows unique magnetic transitions in quasicrystal-like structures

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

O, o.

In the world of materials science, many have heard of crystals—highly ordered structures in which atoms are arranged in a tight and periodic manner (in which the atomic arrangement is repeated). But, not many people know about quasicrystals, which are unique structures with strange atomic arrangements. Like crystals, quasicrystals are also tightly arranged, but what’s different about them is the fact that they possess an unprecedented pentagonal symmetry, such that the atomic arrangement is highly ordered but not periodic.

This distinctive feature gives them , like high stability, resistance to heat, and low friction. Since their discovery only about 30 years ago, scientists globally have been trying to understand the properties of quasicrystals, in an effort to make more advancements in materials research. But, this is not easy, as quasicrystals are not prevalent in nature. Luckily, they have been able to make use of structures similar to quasicrystals, called “Tsai-type approximants.” Understanding these structures in detail could give insights into the many properties of quasicrystals. One such property is antiferromagnetism, in which are aligned in a quasiperiodic order, strikingly distinguished from conventional antiferromagnets. This property has never been observed in quasicrystals so far, but the possibility was exciting for materials scientists, as it could be a gateway to a plethora of new applications.

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Nov 29, 2019

Swiss army knife for genome research

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

It is the dream of every molecular geneticist: an easy-to-use program that compares datasets from different cellular conditions, identifies enhancer regions and then assigns them to their target genes. A research team led by Martin Vingron at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin has now developed a program that does all of this.

“DNA is pretty boring, since it is practically the same in every cell,” says Martin Vingron, director and head of the Department of Bioinformatics at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. “While the genome is like the book of life, I am most interested in the side notes.”

These “notes” are small chemical marks attached to the DNA molecule that do not alter the genetic information itself, but influence what happens to the DNA at the respective site. In other words, these marks have an epigenetic effect. They serve as regulators of genomic regions that are responsible for the activation and deactivation of , such as promoters and enhancers.

Nov 29, 2019

Philippine-made ocean waste collector and dengue mapper to join the NASA global hackathon

Posted by in category: sustainability

Philippine-made ocean waste collector and dengue mapper to join the NASA global hackathon

MANILA, Philippines — A deployable, autonomous ocean waste collection system utilizing space data to locate nearby garbage patches built by students from De La Salle University and an automated information portal which correlates dengue cases with real-time data from satellite, climate, and search engines won the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s International Space Apps Challenge last October 18–20, 2019 in Manila, in collaboration with the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCIEERD), Animo Labs technology business incubator, PLDT InnoLab, American Corner Manila, the U.S. government, and part of the Design Week Philippines with Department of Trade and Industry-Design Center of the Philippines.

Using NASA’s Ocean Surface Current Analysis Real-time (OSCAR) data to determine possible locations of ocean garbage patches using GPS, PaWiKAN uses a pair of deployable, dynamically reconfigurable boats capable of trapping and returning ocean waste back to ground. It is equipped with extended-range radio system based on LoRa technology and Arduino to communicate with sensors and controlled by a deployment station. It was developed by Lasallian electronics and communications engineering students Samantha Maxine Santos, Antonio Miguel S. Alejo, Grant Lewis Bulaong, and Janos Lance L. Tiberio of Ocean’s 4, who also joined the last year’s hackathon, creating a hyper-casual puzzle game utilizing images from the Hubble Space Telescope and intuitive physics concepts.

“Our global bodies of water are actually littered with plastics. This is a very futuristic solution to help get rid of plastics currently floating or submerged in global waters. It is timely and relevant solution,” according to Monchito B. Ibrahim, Industry Development Committee Chairman of the Analytics Association of the Philippines and former undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

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Nov 29, 2019

Lex Fridman with Dava Newman on Space Exploration, Space Suits and Life on Mars

Posted by in categories: alien life, engineering, health

Lex Fridman had a great conversation with Dr. Dava Newman, a Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at MIT and affiliate faculty in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program, on Space Exploration, Space Suits, and Life on Mars.

Nov 29, 2019

Lego Will Use AI and Motion Tracking To Turn Guests Into Minifigures at Its New York Theme Park

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Have you ever dreamed of turning yourself into an inch-tall plastic figure who can’t bend their arms or legs, and must interact with the world using a pair of lobster-like claw hands? Lego’s new theme park, opening next year in New York, will make that dream a reality using sophisticated motion tracking and neural network facial recognition.